"...While the more vulnerable community members benefitted from the special initiatives described above, the general population was also in need of a boost. One uplifting way churches contributed was by hosting Community Fun Days. A group of Methodist ministers decided they'd had enough of "destruction doom and gloom" and wanted to do something positive. They shared the idea and teamed up with the Anglican Church to make a joint funding proposal to CERA. Funding was released from the Earthquake Appeal Trust, and in summer 2011 a collection of 32 Summer of Fun events was run by congregations across the city. Churches were encouraged not to worry about holding large events, but to feel satisfied if 50 or 60 people attended and had the chance to engage with church folk while having fun with their families. The popularity of the events has grown, and by 2014, over 60 different Summer of Fun events were being held. Churches from other denominations independently had similar ideas. One such example is the Family Fun Day run by Harmony Church in conjunction with the City Council and the Halswell Football Club. For the last three years Harmony Church volunteers have transformed the Oaklands school grounds into a mini-fairground for one Sunday in February, with all the rides free to the public. Alongside this, a petting zoo for the kids, live entertainment, prize giveaways and a selection of food stalls make it a great day out. On the adjoining field, the football club offers a free kids' coaching clinic with soccer great Wynton Rufer and signs up teams for the year. Harmony leaders Gideon and Catherine Hoekendijk rate this event as one of the highlights on their church calendar, and love being able to bless the community in this way. Such is the event's popularity that over 5,000 have attended each time..."
Extract from Section 3, Chapter 2, Strengthening Communities
"Melissa Parsons has given us a dramatic account of the Canterbury earthquakes, with a number of inspirational snapshots of the response of the churches to these overwhelming events. It is a real gift to have this record, and I trust this book will be an inspiration and encouragement to everyone who reads it."